Project En0UGh

TO FEED THE FUTURE, WE MUST FEED THE PRESENT

The EN0 cooling chamber maintains the temperature of fresh produce as low as 4 °C using the principle of evaporative cooling.

Use Case

Millions of farmers throughout the world produce a lot of food that never makes it to the market, let alone the table. These farmers make up the bulk of the world’s hungriest & most impoverished. The World Food Program (WFP) reports that the current world's food production is sufficient to feed all humanity had it not been for post harvest losses (PHLs). The PHLs numbers are staggering! According to India’s National Horticulture Board, India's fruits & vegetable losses are enough to provide every undernourished Indian over 1 kg of food per day. According to the WFP, Sub Saharan Africa, where nearly 1/3rd of the people are undernourished, 30 - 50% of the produced food is lost due to PHLs. These losses are majorly due to uncontrolled temperature as a result of poor storage infrastructure.

Potential

The EN0 cooling chamber will provide a cheap storage solution for harvested crop produce, ensuring better quality retention, increased food availability and more returns to the farmers' investment. For every 10 °C decline for harvested crops, the post harvest life doubles. Therefore, with increased food availability, these rural dwellers will be able to afford better ways of life. The bulk of the world's hungry and impoverished is in the rural regions & interventions to improve this situation should be focused on these regions. A lot of effort & resources have been invested in the production of more food but little attention is given to what happens to the food after harvest. This intervention comes in to ensure that PHLs are put to the minimum, with the least of impacts on nature.

Business Case

The chamber costs about $100 and lasts for 3 years. Therefore, farmers will have the chamber for less than $3 per month. In regions where farmers are organised into cooperatives, the monthly payments will be to the cooperatives and when dealing with individual farmers, payments will be through mobile phone transactions. We have 3 purchasing options. (1) A chamber installed on a farmer's private land. (2) Installation of multiple chambers on an individual farmer's private land for his/her own storage or renting to others. (3) A joint purchase through a cooperative where multiple chambers are constructed on community land. In this case, the cooperative can either rent it to local farmers, or local farmers can pay a small premium to one member for the purpose of maintenance of the chamber.

Objectives:

  1. To reduce post harvest losses of fresh produce, improving keeping quality and availability.
  2. To improve the way of life of life of poor farmers through better nutrition and more returns to their investments.
  3. To reduce global hunger and poverty through implementation of interventions that have negligible negative impact on the ecosystem

Team Project En0UGh

GENT, Belgium

Our Team

The EN0 Cooling chamber / Published January 9, 2016 by Moses Matovu

The EN0 Cooling chamber

The EN0 cooling chamber is an above or below ground cooling facility

Business / Published January 8, 2016 by Moses Matovu

Business

Part of the team getting some mentoring in the business aspects of Project EnoUGh

The chamber in pieces / Published January 8, 2016 by Moses Matovu

The chamber in pieces

The walls of the chamber comprise two layers of bricks separated by a 7 cm gap filled with moistened sand. During day, the sand in between the bricks is heated leading to evaporation of the water therein and as this water evaporates, there is a cooling effect on the sand. (The escaping water vapour carries away latent heat from the sand). Inside the chamber, the temperature is higher than in the cooled sand due to the respiration of the harvested plant material.

So, when the temperature of the sand is lowered, a temperature gradient is created between the sand and the interior of the cooling chamber resulting in a net heat flow from the interior of the cooling chamber to the sand (heat flow from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature) so that thermal equilibrium is established and as a result, the produce temperature reduces as it loses heat to its cooler surrounding air.

This is the same feeling you get when you have a bout of sweating during an intense physical activity followed by a rest. The water in your sweat vaporises when the body is in contact with hot air and you immediately feel cold because as the water leaves your skin, it carries energy with it (from your body) and this lowers your body temperature.

The chamber is equipped with a fan, air inlet and outlet chimneys and a lid. The fan, which can be solar powered or manually operated aids to keep the inside conditions of the chamber homogenised (air, temperature and humidity) so that all the produce is uniformly cooled.

The chimneys help to replenish the air in the chamber. Harvested plant materials especially fruits continue to respire, producing carbon dioxide gas. In addition, they also produce ethylene gas and the two gases speed up the senescence process. Therefore, the chimneys serve to exhaust and replenish the atmosphere of the chamber. To prevent rise in temperature while replenishing the atmosphere of the chamber, the inlet air is passed through a moistened mass of charcoal which serves to cool the inlet air.

Covering the chamber is a lid, equipped with a wire mesh to keep out rodents and other physical contaminants.

Project En0UGh - How it all got started / Published January 7, 2016 by Moses Matovu

Project En0UGh - How it all got started

On this one evening, we got together and had a critical look at the entire agro-chain in a lesser developed world to identify the stages where most losses occur and how we could minimise them. The birth of the EN0 cooling chamber.

Pitching ideas: The EN0 Cooling chamber / Published November 30, 2015 by Tiago Torres

Pitching ideas: The EN0 Cooling chamber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGiV204Exas

Insufficient temperature regulation is the leading cause of post-harvest food losses in the world, most especially in the rural regions where agriculture is the way of life. The WFP reports that the current world food production is enough to feed every human being had it not been for these post harvest losses. Therefore, temperature regulation of harvested foods, with rural technologies will go a long way in ensuring food availability and enable these poor farmers to control the quality of their produce; thus more income and ability to feed the world like never before.

Our Mission

Globally millions and millions of tonnes of food are lost every year to post harvest losses. Post harvest losses are food losses that occurring after harvest before reaching the market. The main causes of the losses are high temperatures, humidity, and applied pressure, most of which is due to lack of infrastructure, and storage issues. Many of those affected by post harvest losses are amongst the world’s poorest, and they make up the largest percentage of the world’s hungry. Our solution is called Project Enough, and our team is comprised of people from seven countries, and four continents. Many of us have experience through out the world working on development projects, and many come from countries hit hard by the issue.

Our Background

Our team is a very culturally and nationally diverse group that is specialized in a number of topics. We are all students of Gent University in Gent, Belgium. Nima Yaghmaei Food Security & Development Canada Tiago Torres Food Technologist Portugal Vipul Gupta Food Technologist India Moses Matovu Food Scientist Uganda Tsiaro Raharison International Development Madagascar Sewwandi Alvis Nutritionist Sri Lanka Abhijeet Mishra Agricultural Economist India

The EN0 Cooling chamber / Published January 9, 2016 by Moses Matovu

The EN0 Cooling chamber

The EN0 cooling chamber is an above or below ground cooling facility

Business / Published January 8, 2016 by Moses Matovu

Business

Part of the team getting some mentoring in the business aspects of Project EnoUGh

The chamber in pieces / Published January 8, 2016 by Moses Matovu

The chamber in pieces

The walls of the chamber comprise two layers of bricks separated by a 7 cm gap filled with moistened sand. During day, the sand in between the bricks is heated leading to evaporation of the water therein and as this water evaporates, there is a cooling effect on the sand. (The escaping water vapour carries away latent heat from the sand). Inside the chamber, the temperature is higher than in the cooled sand due to the respiration of the harvested plant material.

So, when the temperature of the sand is lowered, a temperature gradient is created between the sand and the interior of the cooling chamber resulting in a net heat flow from the interior of the cooling chamber to the sand (heat flow from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature) so that thermal equilibrium is established and as a result, the produce temperature reduces as it loses heat to its cooler surrounding air.

This is the same feeling you get when you have a bout of sweating during an intense physical activity followed by a rest. The water in your sweat vaporises when the body is in contact with hot air and you immediately feel cold because as the water leaves your skin, it carries energy with it (from your body) and this lowers your body temperature.

The chamber is equipped with a fan, air inlet and outlet chimneys and a lid. The fan, which can be solar powered or manually operated aids to keep the inside conditions of the chamber homogenised (air, temperature and humidity) so that all the produce is uniformly cooled.

The chimneys help to replenish the air in the chamber. Harvested plant materials especially fruits continue to respire, producing carbon dioxide gas. In addition, they also produce ethylene gas and the two gases speed up the senescence process. Therefore, the chimneys serve to exhaust and replenish the atmosphere of the chamber. To prevent rise in temperature while replenishing the atmosphere of the chamber, the inlet air is passed through a moistened mass of charcoal which serves to cool the inlet air.

Covering the chamber is a lid, equipped with a wire mesh to keep out rodents and other physical contaminants.

Project En0UGh - How it all got started / Published January 7, 2016 by Moses Matovu

Project En0UGh - How it all got started

On this one evening, we got together and had a critical look at the entire agro-chain in a lesser developed world to identify the stages where most losses occur and how we could minimise them. The birth of the EN0 cooling chamber.

Pitching ideas: The EN0 Cooling chamber / Published November 30, 2015 by Tiago Torres

Pitching ideas: The EN0 Cooling chamber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGiV204Exas

Insufficient temperature regulation is the leading cause of post-harvest food losses in the world, most especially in the rural regions where agriculture is the way of life. The WFP reports that the current world food production is enough to feed every human being had it not been for these post harvest losses. Therefore, temperature regulation of harvested foods, with rural technologies will go a long way in ensuring food availability and enable these poor farmers to control the quality of their produce; thus more income and ability to feed the world like never before.

Our Team

Our Mission

Globally millions and millions of tonnes of food are lost every year to post harvest losses. Post harvest losses are food losses that occurring after harvest before reaching ...Read More

Our Background

Our team is a very culturally and nationally diverse group that is specialized in a number of topics. We are all students of Gent University in Gent, Belgium. ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.